A study has pointed out that the best remedy for insomnia is to spend less time in bed.
Older adults seemed to find relief from chronic insomnia after short-term behavioral therapy.
"When you are sleeping poorly, the most important thing you can do is spend less time in bed," Daniel Buysse, research leader at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said.
The study carried out by scientists involved 79 adults with chronic insomnia whose average age was 72. The participants were randomly assigned - some to receive literature on sleep, while some received behavioral therapy lasting for 45-60 minutes. They also underwent a 30 minute follow up session combined with 20 minute phone calls twice.
"This (therapy) has the effect of compressing your sleep into a more solid block," Buysse said.
The team studied questionnaires and sleep diaries and found that two out of three participants who were recipients of behavioral intervention had a positive response while only one out of four receiving the printed material showed any improvement.
Yet, when researchers studied the information from a detailed sleep monitoring system, they were unable to find improved outcomes with behavioral therapy.
"A lot of insomniacs spend a lot of time lying in bed worrying about their sleep, among other things. They expect to have insomnia," said Thomas Neylan of the University of California, San Francisco.
If you're not ready to fall asleep, don't lie down in bed and try to force yourself to sleep. And if you wake up in the middle of the night and don't fall back asleep easily, get out of bed," Neylan said."You don't want to have any linkage between the experience of lying in bed and being awake."